Satya_anveshi wrote:to me this sounds most absurd concept - a club of rape victims celebrating their collective rapes with the master given central place?
Boss, Patel and Nehru felt the very same way you feel regarding the Commonwealth, if my interpretation of the literature that is floating around is any authority. In fact, Nehru for all his bonhomie with Mountbatten and the western culture wanted to get the eff out of this imaginary idea of Commonwealth and what not, at least to a certain degree. Nehru comes across as a confused post-modern Indian while Patel comes across as placing the traditional part of India above its immediate needs. The tensions were obvious and no amount of soothing from the Mahatma could have healed these diverse viewpoints.
On the other hand, the british for whatever silly^1 reason wanted to hold on to the Commonwealth. This was a serious downgrading from what Churchill held as his visions for the British Empire. From my understanding, which has been forged by the following three books, Churchill never forgave Attlee for these "transgressions":
The last thousand days of the British empire: Churchill, Roosevelt, and the birth of the Pax Americana --- Peter Clarke
http://books.google.com/books?id=Dbc5eI ... CCoQ6AEwAw
Gandhi and Churchill: The Rivalry That Destroyed an Empire and Forged Our Age --- Arthur Herman
http://books.google.com/books?id=s9_gAA ... CCcQ6AEwAA
The magic of Indian cricket: cricket and society in India --- Mihir Bose
http://books.google.com/books?id=X8HQiM ... &q&f=false
I made two x-posted posts on this matter. Please see: viewtopic.php?f=1&t=3336&p=920721&hilit=mihir+bose#p920721
Singha posted this on why we should be in the Commonwealth: http://www.slate.com/id/2268989/ I am not too impressed by these reasons. The only realistic pro of sticking around with the Commonwealth (I can think of, that is) is to steer this exclusive club into a Pax-Indica in some sense, whether that sense is trade, foreign affairs, Anglais-speakers, Afro-Asian bonhomie, etc. is left to posterity. Ministry of Trade and the South Block think almost exactly along these lines, here is the latest uvacha: http://telegraphindia.com/1101017/jsp/b ... 066245.jsp
The obvious stumbling block is that the Commonwealth is a gora face in what is now the anglais-speaking world. The resistance towards transforming the Commonwealth into a trading block, let alone a FTA, is going to be huge. I think we should leave it to our much-maligned babus to do the needful in this matter. The vision is there, we should nt leave the Commonwealth till we get a better shot at steering this forum into OURS. Our paki-centric foreign policy approach has left a huge vacuum in terms of what we can easily gain in our near-abroad: the Afro-Asian post-british space and the Indian subcontinent minus pakistan are the most obvious blackholes. Slowly, but steadily, the South Block has been trying to fix this malady. The resistance again is HUGE, and the elephant needs a swift kick up its posterior.
PS: All that said and done, I am pissed at how the thaparites such as Ramachandra Guha have stolen the chronicling of Indian sport history by their Dalit pissing contests. I know that Daleets have been left out in what is India's progress to a more egalitarian society etc., but to make Palwankar Baloo the central piece of his supposed magnum opus (A Corner of a Foreign Field: The Indian History of a British Sport --- http://books.google.com/books?id=PxCie1 ... CD0Q6AEwBA ) is a serious and a bloody serious tragedy. This is NOT history, but hagiography at its worst. In any case, my takleef extends far beyond Ramachandra Guha and his fellow-comrades. I am more pissed because sports history chronicling goes far into my family, and these oiseaules have misinterpreted history to suit their secular needs.
Footnote 1: It is hard to term the idea of Commonwealth as "silly", at least as seen from the gora viewpoint. For that, one has to look at how Oz and NZ formed a federation in 1901+. Oz had always branded itself as the vague rebel in the family, but NZ not so dramatic a rebel. Despite all that rebellion, Oz still sees itself as an extended limb of the Anglo-Saxon past. Canada changed its national flag from what looked like an Oz-NZ-Fiji-Tuvalu counterpart only in the mid-50s (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Flag_of_Canada). The point being, all these dominions forged a distinct "national" identity only very recently (Oz with Bodyline and ANZAC troops in Gallipoli etc.). And whatever national identity has been established now is seriously confusing to their own peoples (confusion regarding Quebec in Canada, the future of monarchy in Oz, etc.). The idea of unity amongst the british dominions quantified by a sporting spirit (forged in the 20s and 30s by the Canadians nonetheless) sounded like a seriously good idea to hold on to the cultural thinking space of Pax-Brittanica. In the post-WWII phase, with Roosevelt's desperate need to cut down the British Empire, this was like a last gasp effort at holding on to something far less dramatic than what could have been.